It’s been a tough week. Two huge projects at work have left me stressed out and exhausted. And it’s my son’s first week back to school as a newly minted first grader. He seems to be doing ok, but it’s a major adjustment nonetheless, for both of us.
Our rituals soothe us, particularly at night after a long day. And for even more comfort, we’ve retreated into the past. This week’s bedtime selections have been our old standbys, the board books I started reading to my son when he was an infant, the ones I still know by heart. A Color of His Own, The Runaway Bunny, Are You My Mother?, and tonight, Goodnight Moon. Although my son can read these books to me now, we both still enjoy it when I read aloud to him, it’s part of the ritual.
We snuggle in together in his bed, me carefully lowering my head so I don’t hit it against the top bunk. We enter into that great, green room with its telephone and balloon. “And a picture of…” I pause dramatically and then slowly turn the page. “…the cow jumping over the moon.” “Yes! I KNEW it!” says my son in the tone of voice normally accompanying victorious athletes fist pumping in exhilaration. His relief is palpable. I wonder, does his busy brain truly think that the pages of a time-honored book change when we aren’t looking, the familiar replaced by the new and the unknown? No matter. Tonight, the cow is jumping over the moon, the three little bears sit in their chairs and the old lady still whispers “hush.” The stresses of the week fade away and all is right in our world.